Marica’s mantra

Owner of Murphy’s Restaurant of Levuka Marica Murphy with her carrier at FCOSS offi ce in Suva yesterday. Picture: RAMA

SAVINGS is the foundation of any business, according to businesswoman Marica Murphy who uses this as the mantra for her success.

Originally from Bua, Mrs Murphy lives in Levuka, Ovalau and operates a restaurant and a carrier business in the Old Capital.

“I used to sell food parcels to schools, PAFCO and other businesses in Levuka some years back and from that money I had managed to put my sons through school and help my husband run our house,” she said.

Mrs Murphy said she was able to put money aside as savings which had helped them during tough times.

“Then the Fiji Council of Social Services came to Levuka and I was fortunate enough to meet its microfinance officers who talked to us about savings and financial literacy,” she said.

Mrs Murphy, who is also a microfinance co-ordinator with FCOSS, said she was able to save and opened a bank account which also enabled her to apply for a loan from FCOSS for her carrier business.

“I took out a small loan and bought a carrier and then I opened my restaurant last year. Presently our main dish is fish and chips, tea and I also bake cakes, pies and other pastries.

“Our fish and chips has become very popular with the people and our most busy times are from Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” she said.

“Now that we are in our second year of operations at the restaurant I want to introduce more dishes so that we are able to serve more customers,” she said.

Her restaurant — Murphy’s Restaurant and Refreshments — is run by her two sons and daughters-in-law while her husband operates their carrier business.

“When FCOSS came to the island, they encouraged us to save and later gave us a loan to assist with either starting up a business or to help expand it.

“This is what I teach my family too — the value of savings.

“Many of our small business operators are not too worried about savings. Savings is very important for any business and individuals.”

Mrs Murphy, who was in Suva yesterday, said she had taken a loan from FCOSS and had managed to pay it off through her business.

“I applied for another loan and with that money I bought another carrier. I am here to take delivery of the second carrier and we will be back on the island soon.

“With this loan we are also going to open a garage because my husband and my son are good mechanics and they will look after the garage,” she said.

Mrs Murphy said her first loan from FCOSS was for $300 which helped her in her business and now with her savings she was able to get up to $7000 (maximum) loan.

“My belief is small loans and big changes.

“This is how I run my life and business and this is what I teach my family and other women who want to start a business on the island.”

Mrs Murphy said she was always encouraging the women to start saving and learn from FCOSS about savings and financial literacy to help them in their business and life in general.

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